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Pre-Thanksgiving Storm Incoming to New England: Timing, Impacts

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

A storm will spread snow across much of New England starting tonight. For many areas, this snow will change to rain, and change rather quickly. For other areas, the snow will remain in place for several hours, allowing some accumulations. This storm will also bring strong, gusty winds.

The storm's setup involves a primary low tracking to the north of New England with a secondary low spawning to the south. The secondary low will strengthen and become the primary low for New England. The southerly low will draw more mild air into the storm, allowing snow to switch to rain early on for many.

The storm will arrive in western New England late tonight and spread west to east through the night, with Maine getting into the storm by Wednesday morning. Precipitation will last through most of Wednesday before tapering off from west to east. Some lingering showers will be possible in eastern Maine by daybreak Thanksgiving, but everyone else will have cleared out by then.



Most of New England away from the coast will begin the storm with snow tonight. A period of moderate snow is possible before the transition to rain. This transition to rain will occur generally from south to north and will be elevation based, with higher terrain staying snow longer than the valleys.

The big question is how long does it take for the rain/snow line to push north and inland? Models have trended toward a quicker transition to rain for most areas. This would, naturally, lessen snow totals to an extent, especially in southern New England.

Expected weather around midnight tonight:

In southern New England, the Berkshires and Worcester Hills will still likely see snow for a few hours, allowing for a light accumulation of 1-3 inches before rain takes over by Wednesday morning. Eastern Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and the Merrimack and Connecticut River Valleys will be hard pressed to see any snow accumulations. It's also important to remember that the rain will wash much of the snow away for areas that see a quick transition.

In northern New England, moderate to potentially heavy at times snow is expected at the beginning of the storm with a transition to rain expected to begin at the coast and in the valleys of Vermont early Wednesday morning. The rain/snow line will gradually work its way inland and up the slopes during the day Wednesday. Naturally, the farther north and higher in elevation you go, the more snow will fall as the storm will stay snow longer. 

Expected weather around sunrise Wednesday. You can see the rain/snow already projected to be near lake Winnipesaukee:

Snowfall amounts will generally be in the 3-6 inch range for the southern Green Mountains, western New Hampshire into the lakes region and the White mountains into the higher elevations of Maine. Areas that are most likely to see closer to 6 inches will be the New Hampshire foothills and White Mountains and the southern Green Mountains. More minimal snow will be seen in the valleys as well as close to the coast.

Overall, our thoughts on snowfall haven't changed much since yesterday, as evidenced by a lack of changes in our snowfall map. We did add a 5-8 inch zone over the southern Greens and Maine mountains and dialed back the 5-8 inch zone in New Hampshire. We're thinking most areas will likely see the lower end of these totals on the map above.


A soaking rain is expected once the transition occurs, with a widespread 1 to 1.5 inches of rain for southern New England. A dry slot may work into southern New England in the afternoon, which would lead to more scattered and light showers, so the heaviest of the rain will likely occur Wednesday morning. Northern New England will see a 0.5 to 1 inch, with the most near the coast.

Expected weather early Wednesday afternoon. You can see much of southern New England is seeing more minimal activity:

There will likely be minimal sleet and/or freezing rain. This will primarily be snow to rain. This can be seen by the lack of pink on the map above for Wednesday afternoon. Still, a brief period of freezing rain is possible and the Green Mountains of Vermont could see a couple hundredths of an inch of ice, which will largely be melted by the switch to plain rain.


As the low enters into the Gulf of Maine, it will strengthen. This will cause winds to pick up, especially for Wednesday afternoon. Winds will be strongest at the coast, with gusts up to 40mph. Elsewhere, gusts of 20-30mph will be possible.

A wind advisory is in effect for Cape Cod and the islands from 4am-4pm Wednesday. Gusts could reach 50mph in these areas. Winds will generally be below the threshold for damage and power outages aren't expected to be much of an issue, outside of small, isolated problems near the coast.

Expected weather Wednesday evening:


Southeast winds will cause a bit of a surge along the south coast, but peak surge will likely occur during the Wednesday morning high tide, so very minimal impacts are expected. A coastal flood advisory is in effect through Wednesday morning for western Connecticut. Some minor ponding will be possible.



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